Sexual Health news - Oral and Genital Herpes

Portland woman files lawsuit over herpes, wins

A 49-year-old woman from Portland filed a lawsuit after a sexual encounter with a partner - who she met on an online dating site - who infected her with genital herpes after having unprotected sex. It was the first time there was a case in Oregon regarding the transmission of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Genital herpes are one of the most common STIs. In the U.S., 16.2 percent of the population between the ages of 14 and 49 years are infected with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most infected individuals are not aware that they have it until their first outbreak, which typically occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted. 

These painful sores on the genitals can be prevented from using birth control methods such as condoms and effective communication between partners about each others' sexual health. Infected individuals should abstain from sexual activity during outbreaks. It is important to be aware that genital herpes can occur on areas that are not protected by a condom and can spread through skin-to-skin contact.

Who is at fault for STI transmission?

The woman - after getting infected - experienced several painful outbreaks and claimed it caused her to become clinically depressed. When she went to court, she asked for $900,000 for the trouble and received the full amount. The jury decided that the man, who failed to inform her that he was infected, was 75 percent at fault and that the woman was 25 percent.

Whether in a legal or personal setting, the question of who is at fault for an individual getting infected with an STI is debatable. One view is that it is the fault of the infected person - who neglected to tell the other. The other is that the non-infected person should have asked or taken precaution with condoms or abstinence. Both sides are logical, which is why it is necessary to be extra careful when having sex with a new partner.